I was trying to follow the discussion about this new Nationalism which is raging everywhere (like: America First!), to understand where it comes from, so I will write something before of the next post "how to write fake news, part II", which I will postpone (I write for pleasure, so I have no deadlines ).
I suspect everything started when Margaret Thatcher said "there is nothing like the society". Which meant basically that everybody is made by individuals, which are full responsible for their personal failures and achievements. Of course, since we say that "society" is just a speculation on individual, then you cannot expect help from the society, where the people previously getting help from the welfare went?
Optimistically, people said that those people which were living on the welfare state was going to find a real job. All those people was previously subsidized by "the society" , in direct or indirect way:
- They were receiving money from the government under the welfare way. Direct subsidizing.
- They were working in a sector which was subsidized by the government. Indirect subsidizing.
- They were working in a sector which was protected by commercial barriers. Commercial subsidizing.
- Loans and debts are so easy that people can live just making more debt. Venture capital subsidizing.
The number 3 seems not to be a cost for the society, until we remember that blocking a cheaper competitor to sell in your country is actually making the people to pay more for the same, which means, people is subsidizing you while buying products/services you work at. So it is still subsidizing you by "the society".
The number 4 seems also not so expensive, until you remember the credit crunch bubble in 2008, and the fact that "quantitative easing" is backed by the government, then still welfare. If you need QE for your economy to run, then your economy is based on welfare.
Now, when Margaret Thatcher decided that "there is nothing like society" , where the subsidized people went? Apparently they've found a new job, but this was not the case: when this was implemented, the gap between them and the "middle class" had grown and grown.
So actually they didn't find a "better job", they barely survived, "downsized", and started to whine that "the middle class is dead". Which was true, if you meant by "middle class" people which needs some kind of action from the government (Direct subsidizing. Indirect subsidizing.Commercial subsidizing.) to look "middle class like"
Because here is the trick: most of the dead "middle class" did never existed. It was just people doing debts to buy their "middle class like" clothes, cars, houses, and so. It was people which was working in sectors which where protected (at the expenses of consumers) or subsidized (at the expense of taxpayers). This "middle class" was basically a fake.
Which is why it crashed down with "globalization" , which simply destroyed protected sectors, subsidized sectors, and venture capital supported debts. Globalization just show to everybody that a bureaucrat sitting in the office filling excel the whole day cannot have an income 10.000 times bigger than a person which is assembling your pacemaker in Taiwan. It is not sustainable in the long term, end of story, just because it doesn't matches facts. One job is not 10.000 times worth the other.
So, this "dead middle class" was not a real middle class. Was a welfare-supported class, where "welfare" was one of the multiple forms the society is spending money to support their income, directly or not.
After 80 years of welfare, where they claimed "we have the right of being middle class because we are part of the society", where those whiners could end?
What they did was changing a simple word, from "society" to "nation":
- Before it was: we have the right of being middle class because we are part of the "society".
- After it was: we have the right of being middle class because we are part of the "nation".
Of course, someone could just notice the people meant by the word "society" and the people meant by the word "nation" are the same, so those people are just the usual welfare-demanding fake-middle-class , asking the same people to support their incomes, just calling the same people in a different way.
The person which says "America First" is just saying he deserves the right to be middle class, not because of achievements or competence: just because of being american. He cannot survive the market , sure, because he is incompetent or underachiever, and instead of asking support to the "society", he is asking support to the "nation", regardless of the fact that "society" and "nation" are just meaning the same people.
This is why I call them "the whiners".
Everybody of us knows that, in your life, you only deserve what you've built. If you have nothing, it is because you built nothing. If you built nothing in the past, they you have nothing today. But the whiners say: we deserve to be middle class.
Now, "middle class" is a pretty clear term. People is not middle class just because they have a good job. Middle class is about savings, investments, high education, competence, achievements. If you just had a job after school, you cannot be middle class: this is working class, even if you own the same iPhone of a middle class person (which people buy 20$ a month from their mobile operator: this is called "debt", which is different than paying cash).
If we examine the personal history of the average whiner which claims to be part of "the dead middle class", and check like "give me an example of your savings, investments, high education, competence, achievements", we often find that:
- Savings never existed: most of times, we see debts.
- Investments were really bad, most of times they loan for consumer products decreasing in value.
- Education is very average, and stopped the bachelor day. No improvement since dozen years.
- Competence: often is just a brunch of buzzwords with no real mapping.
- Achievements: unemployment.
how such a people can describe themselves as "middle class", when they should describe like "subsidized working class" or worst, is clear: in the past, they were able to look like a middle class.
Now, when the idea of "society" collapsed, what they did was to search some other name for the same thing: so they put "nation" at the place of "society", and they are telling now that they deserve help not because of society, but because of the Nation.
So they deserve of being middle class just because they have a given passport.
Because of the nation. Which is the same people as "the society", but it sounds a bit less like being an underachiever asking the government to support your income.
Of course other "renaming" is made: "basic income" has now take the place of "welfare" or "subside". So it sounds better. But still the message is the same: "i deserve a nice lifestyle, just because of X ", where X was "society" before, and now is "the Nation".
Unfortunately, this cannot work. Lunch for free is over. There is not such a thing as a free lunch.
And everyone just deserves what he've built.